17 January 2017 – On the heels of failed rains and a calamitous El Niño in Ethiopia, the country’s Government today launched an appeal for $948 million to urgently address food and non-food needs, while the United Nations agriculture agency warned that a new drought may put the East African nation’s hard fought gains at risk.
The humanitarian response plan, launched by the Ethiopian Government and humanitarian partners, aims to help 5.6 million people mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the country, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“Last year the Government of Ethiopia, with the support of international donors and humanitarian partners, was able to mount the biggest drought response operation in global history. Today we need that partnership once again as we face a new drought, with 5.6 million in need of urgent assistance,” said Commissioner Mitiku Kassa, Head of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission.
“Humanitarian partners stand ready to support the Government in addressing the needs of those Ethiopians affected by this new drought,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie.
Failed rains in southern and eastern parts of the country were caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole. The plan prioritizes humanitarian assistance in water and sanitation, agriculture, relief food, nutrition, health, education, protection, and shelter and non-food items in the affected areas. Of the total, $598 million is targeted for relief food, $105 million for nutrition, and $86 million for water and sanitation needs.